William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879)
Courtesy of the American Antiquarian Society
A dedicated journalist and a zealous reformer, Garrison launched The Liberator from Boston on New Years Day, 1831 with “I am in earnest—I will not equivocate—I will not excuse—I will not retreat a single inch—and I will be heard.”
Pledged to the immediate emancipa- tion of the nation’s slaves, Garrison founded the New England Anti-Slavery Society in 1832 and the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1833 to carry out this difficult task.
Garrison inspired Worcester County reformers Abby Kelley Foster and Lucy Stone and supported the equal participation of women in the anti-slavery movement.
Garrison helped promote the first National Woman’s Rights Convention held in Worcester, MA in 1850.
- Born December 12, 1805 in Newburyport, MA
- Died May 24, 1879 in New York City
- Buried in Forest Hills Cemetery, Boston, MA.
- Education: Apprenticed at 13 to a printer in the Newburyport Herald where he became an expert compositor and began writing anonymous articles.
- Married Helen Eliza Benson (1811-1876) of Brooklyn, CT on September 4, 1834
- Children: “Dordie” George Thompson (1836- ); William Lloyd, Jr. (1838-1909); Wendell Phillips (1840-1907); Charles Follen (1842 -1849); “Fanny” Helen Frances (1844-1928); Elizabeth Pease (1846-1848); Francis Jackson (1848-1916);
- Publication of The Liberator ended in 1865 with the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
- In his later years he continued to press for prohibition, woman suffrage, better treatment of Indians, and other reforms.
- Garrison Family Papers Guide. Houghton Library, Harvard College.
- Garrison, Francis Jackson. William Lloyd Garrison, 1805-1879; the story of his life told by his children. Perseus
- Collection: American Civil War. Tufts University.
- Meyer, Henry. All on Fire: William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolition of Slavery. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 1998
- Van Doren, Charles, Ed. Webster’s American Biographies. Springfield, MA: G. & G. Merriam, 1974.
- Alonso, Harriet Hyman. Growing Up Abolitionist: The Story of the Garrison Children. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2003.